Intensive learning for Monlau Motul drivers at the start of the most competitive Spanish F4 season

  • The Jarama shows the extreme equality of the category this year, with up to 35 drivers in less than 1.5 seconds in the classification.
  • Although the points zone seems elusive, the team’s starters, Lenny Ried, Tim Gerhards and Rehan Hakim, show notable progress at the end of the first three races of the year.
  • “The level of competitiveness of the 2024 Spanish F4 season is very high, and its races are frenetic, which is going to be fantastic for our drivers, because they are going to learn a lot,”  says Jaime Serrano, CEO of Monlau Motul Technical School.
  • “I would like to underline the great work of the entire team of mechanics and engineers this weekend. Despite having to duplicate efforts between F4 and TCR Spain, the result in terms of methodology and execution has been very good,”  details David Simón, Team Manager of the team.

Monlau Motul Technical School began last weekend at the Jarama circuit, in the Community of Madrid, what is perhaps the most competitive and even season in the young history of Spanish Formula 4. In a debut marked by frenetic qualifications, with the 35 drivers on the grid in 1.7 and 1.3 seconds, respectively, and some very competitive races, the team’s trio of rookies say goodbye with good feelings and many learnings, in addition to with the aim of continuing to close the gap with respect to the top 10. Lenny Ried, 15th in the third event of the program, was the best of the Barcelona team in the opening event of the contest.

The return of the Spanish F4 to Jarama was the best example of what awaits us this year in the championship: equality and high doses of emotion. The start of the meeting was special for the team’s three rookies, Lenny Ried, Tim Gerhards, but especially for Rehan Hakim, who was facing a real automobile competition for the first time, after amassing a great experience in the world of simulators. The first free practice sessions advanced sensations that would later be confirmed by the first qualifying round: each position on the grid would be decided by a matter of thousandths. 

Managing the free track space with 35 cars in action and on a circuit of less than 4 kilometers was not easy at all, which, together with the midday heat, prevented the three members of Monlau Motul from improving their free practice times. Lenny Ried qualified in 23rd place (1:33.564), Tim Gerhards 27th (1:33.784) and Rehan Hakim 33rd (1:33.950), at a distance of 0.7, 0.9 and 1.1 seconds, respectively, of the pole position. 

The first race of the season, held that same afternoon at a distance of 30 minutes plus one lap, also signaled the trend of what would be the rest of the weekend, with many touches and appearances of the safety car due to the difficulty to remove damaged cars from the gravel. In the end, the three Monlau Motul Technical School representatives saw the flag, with Lenny Ried 27th, Rehan Hakim 29th and Tim Gerhards 33rd. 

After a long late night of study and a valuable  technical debriefing  with the engineers, Sunday dawned as a new opportunity for Gerhards, Ried and Hakim. The first fruits were collected in the second qualifying round, in which the three Monlau Motul components set their best times of the weekend, also reducing, in some cases, their already tight difference with respect to the pole: Lenny Ried 20th (1:32.558), Tim Gerhards 25th (1:32.680) and Rehan Hakim 32nd (1:33.081), 0.7, 0.8 and 1.2 seconds off the best time, respectively. 

In the two remaining races, scheduled for 25 and 30 minutes plus one lap, respectively, they maintained the progression curve. At midday, Lenny Ried climbed to 18th place, ahead of his teammate Tim Gerhards (25th), while Rehan Hakim was forced to retire just a few laps from the end. In the long event of the afternoon came the best competition results of the entire meeting for Lenny Ried and Rehan Hakim, 15th and 24th, respectively, while Tim Gerhards had to settle for 26th place.

At the end of the event,  Jaime Serrano , CEO of Monlau Motul, commented:  “The level of competitiveness of the new F4 season is very high, as proven by the fact that qualifying 0.7 seconds from pole position relegates you to 20th. grill position. This says it all. The races have been frenetic, with many touches and overtaking, although unfortunately with too many safety cars. In any case, this sum of factors will be positive for our pilots, because they are going to learn a lot in 2024.”

David Simón , team manager of Monlau Motul Technical School, made a collective assessment of the team and individually of the three drivers:  “To begin with, I would like to highlight the magnificent work of the technical staff, who despite having to duplicate efforts between the TCR Spain and the F4 have achieved a great result in terms of methodology and execution. As for our drivers, we leave with a moderately optimistic background and a commitment to work very hard to improve results. One by one, Lenny has taken a clear step forward in Jarama and we believe that he is ready to consolidate himself in the top 15. We also see that potential in Tim, although for various reasons things have not gone well for him this weekend. Of course, we are convinced that his talent, which is a lot, will not take long to explode. Special mention for Rehan, who until this meeting had never competed in anything other than a simulator, and despite this he has been able to qualify one second from pole position. The top 20-25 could be a good challenge for him in the next events.”

Monlau Motul Technical School now returns to the base to thoroughly review the cars and leave them ready for the second round of the Spanish F4, scheduled between June 7 and 9 at the Portimao circuit, in the Portuguese Algarve.